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Discover the optimal font for your resume and explore several suitable fonts for your job application. Craft a well-formatted resume that stands out from the competition.

Numerous inquiries abound, but fortunately, we have all the answers to help you make the right choice for your resume font. Continue reading to find examples, explanations, and comprehensive answers. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to select the ideal font for your resume.

This font guide will show you:

  • Optimal resume fonts and fonts to steer clear of.
  • The ideal font size for a resume and cover letter that captivates employers.
  • Pros and cons outlined for each suggested resume font, simplifying your decision-making.
  • Guidelines and strategies for utilizing standard professional fonts in your resume.

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What Font to use for a Resume

Recruiters and hiring managers take 7 seconds to initially scan your resume, according to our HR statistics report. That’s just about how long it takes the average person to read these two sentences. The font you pick has to be legible. What is the best font for a resume? Here are our recommendations:

Resume Font Size

The standard font size for resumes is 12 points in a classic and easily readable font. Larger fonts are good for emphasizing your name and section headings. If you can’t fit your content on one page you could try using a sans-serif font at 10 points, but that’s the minimum font size you should use. 

Common Resume Fonts

  • The most common font type used is black Times New Roman at 12 points in size.
  • Other serif fonts, those that have tails, that work well include Cambria, Georgia, Garamond, Book Antiqua, and Didot.
  • Sans serif fonts, those without tails, that work well include Calibri, Helvetica, Verdana, Trebuchet MS and Lato.
  • Use boldingitalicising and CAPITALIZING to emphasize important information such as your name and section headings, but be consistent.

Now let’s take a look at each of our recommended resume fonts in more detail.

What Font to use for a Resume

Recruiters and hiring managers typically spend 7 seconds on the initial scan of your resume, as indicated by our HR statistics report. This is approximately the time it takes the average person to read these two sentences. It’s essential to choose a legible font. So, what is the optimal font for a resume? Here are our suggestions:

Resume Font Size

The typical font size for resumes is 12 points, utilizing a classic and easily readable font. Larger fonts are effective for highlighting your name and section headings. If you encounter difficulty fitting your content on one page, consider employing a sans-serif font at a minimum size of 10 points, though this is the smallest recommended font size.

Common Resume Fonts

  • The prevailing font choice is black Times New Roman with a font size of 12 points.
  • Additional serif fonts, characterized by tails, that are effective include Cambria, Georgia, Garamond, Book Antiqua, and Didot.
  • For sans-serif fonts without tails, consider Calibri, Helvetica, Verdana, Trebuchet MS, and Lato.
  • Employ bolding, italicizing, and capitalizing to highlight crucial details like your name and section headings, ensuring consistency throughout.

Now, let’s delve into a detailed examination of each of the resume fonts we recommend.

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What Font is Most Suitable for a Resume in 2024:

Cambria

Similar to Calibri, Cambria was also commissioned by Microsoft from a Dutch designer and developed in 2004. Featuring serifs (the small lines at the end of each stroke in a letter), Microsoft notes that it was “designed for on-screen reading and to look good when printed at small sizes.” This characteristic makes it an excellent font choice for the content of your resume and cover letter.

Advantages: Cambria facilitates easy reading of smaller text sizes.

Disadvantages: It is commonly labeled as “traditional,” which might be less fitting for contemporary job roles.

Alternative: Caladea, a Google-created font, serves as a counterpart to Calibri, with metric compatibility and an open-source design. Nevertheless, it appears that Google Docs now also offers Cambria as an available option.

 

Calibri

Microsoft enlisted Lucas de Groot, a Dutch type designer, to develop Calibri as a replacement for the classic Times New Roman as the default font for Office. Calibri is a modern font that prioritizes relatability by eschewing outdated serifs but without the elaborate embellishments seen in some other contemporary fonts—making it an ideal choice for a modern resume.

Advantages: Being a default font, Calibri generally displays accurately when a hiring manager views your resume. It is a professional and easily readable font, having earned the TDC2 2005 Type System award from the Type Directors Club.

Disadvantages: Its default status means that other job seekers might also use Calibri, potentially causing your resume to blend in with others.

Alternative: Carlito, a font developed by Google, serves as a counterpart to Calibri, offering metric compatibility and an open-source design.

Didot

Didot, an exquisite font crafted by Firmin Didot just prior to the French Revolution, carries a touch of elegance from the Enlightenment and the era of Marie Antoinette. Although not as ancient as Garamond, its association with that period makes it a suitable choice for adding sophistication to your resume.

Advantages: The font is often linked with fashion, as seen on the websites of Ralph Lauren and Marks & Spencer. Its elegant style makes it a reliable option when aiming for a sophisticated presentation.

Disadvantages: Didot requires a purchase for use on your resume. Excessive use of Didot can shift from tastefully elegant to potentially jeopardizing your resume, akin to the fate of Madame Déficit.

Alternative: Bodoni, a font family with numerous variations, provides a broader selection. While it requires more consideration, many variations are available for public use.

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Book Antiqua

If you believe that contemporary resume templates should lean towards typography like Web Nova or Selfie Futura rather than this, you’d be mistaken. Book Antiqua, a Microsoft counterpart to the widely favored Palatino font, stands out as one of the best serif fonts for resumes.

Advantages: Being a Microsoft version of Palatino, it is easily accessible on most operating systems and office programs.

Disadvantages: Given its basis on humanist styles of the Italian Renaissance, Palatino might impart a somewhat antiquated feel to your resume.

Alternative: Iowan Old Style shares a similar stylistic approach but boasts a higher x-height, enhancing readability on screens and small displays. Additionally, it is automatically available on Macs and Pages due to Apple’s licensing.

Lato

Łukasz Dziedzic, a typeface designer from Poland, created the Lato font for a significant corporate client, aiming to imbue the typeface with both a serious and friendly demeanor. This duality gave it a “feeling of the summer,” prompting him to name the font after the Polish word for summer.

Advantages: As an open-source font under the SIL Open Font License, Lato can be downloaded and used for free. It is also recognized as a corporate font, ensuring its compatibility with your resume. Lato is readily available in the Google Font library.

Disadvantages: Lato is not a standard Microsoft Word font, which may lead to issues with loading when some hiring managers open your resume.

Alternative: Open Sans serves as a viable substitute for Lato, being widely popular as a professional font on the web, openly accessible, and suitable for commercial use.

Trebuchet MS

A trebuchet, in medieval times, was a siege engine hurling projectiles of slow, agonizing consequences, like buckets of stones or deceased bodies to spread disease, across long distances and over defending walls. Vincent Connare found inspiration in this and named a font after it, envisioning it as a tool to launch words across the internet. Connare, a font expert known for the globally recognized (though not resume-friendly) Comic Sans font, is the mind behind Trebuchet as well.

Advantages: Microsoft introduced Trebuchet as one of their primary fonts for web use, making it easily accessible, even on platforms like Google Docs.

Disadvantages: To access additional features like small caps or text figures for Trebuchet MS, you’ll need to purchase the commercial version, Trebuchet Pro.

Alternative: Fira Sans serves as a suitable substitute for Trebuchet and is openly available on Google Fonts. Additionally, Source Sans Pro is freely accessible for commercial use.

Garamond

Garamond, a font family with roots in 15th and 16th-century designs, boasts a rich history, often deemed timeless. Jean Jannon later created a similar typeface, shaping the digital versions of Garamond we commonly encounter today. Monotype’s version, originating in 1922, is bundled with Microsoft products and stands as the most widely used in this typographic family.

Advantages: Garamond is a preferred choice among designers and advertising managers, meeting the criteria for an ideal resume font—easy to read, aesthetically pleasing, classy, and not overly ubiquitous.

Disadvantages: Critics may argue that Garamond’s perceived timelessness is simply a more optimistic way of acknowledging its age, hailing from the 1400s.

Alternative: Cormorant, drawing inspiration from Garamond’s design, is openly available, and its development was funded by Google Fonts for a libre release.

Verdana

Matthew Carter crafted Verdana for Microsoft as the sans-serif counterpart to Georgia. The font was specifically designed to enhance readability on computer screens, particularly in small print. Verdana stands out as one of the top professional fonts for resumes, CVs, and cover letters.

Advantages: Ideal for job seekers aiming to maximize content on their resumes, as it was optimized for legibility in small print.

Disadvantages: If you’re in search of a distinctive CV font with a “wow” factor, Verdana might not be the most visually striking choice. It bears a resemblance to Arial, and Arial itself is reminiscent of Helvetica.

Alternative: Futura is a commonly used substitute for Verdana; however, it’s worth noting that in 2010, Ikea shifted from Futura to Verdana. This decision, involving significant expenditures, was made by their marketing team, adding an interesting perspective to font choices.

Helvetica

A Swiss designer originated Helvetica, a neo-grotesque typeface initially named Neue Haas Grotesk. Shortly after being licensed by Linotype, it underwent a name change to reflect the Latin word for Switzerland, “Helvetia.” This font remains highly favored in the advertising industry for its aesthetic appeal and readability as a sans-serif typeface. Iconic entities like the New York City subway system and major corporations such as BMW use Helvetica for their signage.

Advantages: Regarded by many professionals as one of the most aesthetically pleasing sans-serif fonts, Helvetica is an excellent choice for a CV.

Disadvantages: While Helvetica comes preloaded on Macs, it is not included in the list of fonts in Microsoft Word. If you want to use it on a non-Mac system, you’ll need to purchase it.

Alternatives: Arial serves as the default font for Google Docs and is a standard font for Microsoft Word, ensuring correct display across platforms and on most computers. It’s challenging for most non-specialists to discern the differences between Helvetica and Arial. Another alternative is Roboto, a resume font created by Google, available for open use and less similar to Helvetica.

Alternative Resume Fonts

The aforementioned fonts are our top recommendations for resumes, but what if you’re using an online builder, like ours, that can’t commercially distribute many of those fonts? Or perhaps you’re seeking a less common alternative?

I suggest considering Google’s very own Noto font family as an alternative. Noto, short for “NO more TOfu,” where tofu refers to the boxes that replace letters or symbols a system can’t render.

According to Google, “Noto provides pan-language harmony, yet maintains authenticity. The goal is great online readability across languages without losing the character that makes each script special.”

The Noto font family, available in both serif and sans-serif versions, covers an extensive range of 93 different language scripts (alphabets), nearly 600 languages, and spans over 230 geographical regions worldwide. It serves as a font that unifies diverse languages, making it ideal for today’s globalized industries, and one that I highly recommend.

Serif vs. Sans-Serif

What is a serif font?

Serifs are the small lines at the end of each stroke in a letter, and fonts with these features are known as serif or serifed typefaces. Originating in Roman antiquity, serif fonts may evoke a sense of antiquity when compared to their sans-serif counterparts.

What are sans-serif fonts?

Sans-serif fonts lack the lines at the end of each stroke, giving them a fresh, modern appearance that designers often find suitable for resumes.

Serif or sans-serif fonts for my resume?

Serif fonts are considered slightly more legible, as the small brushstrokes aid the hiring manager’s brain in processing the text a bit faster. However, sans-serif fonts are highly valued on modern resumes for their contemporary aesthetic and seamless integration with current resume designs.

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What About Italics and Bold?

Utilizing bold text is effective in emphasizing specific words, especially when you’ve already increased the font size for titles. Bold formatting can make subtitles stand out without the need to enlarge them.

Italics serve a supportive role similar to the smaller font size mentioned earlier. Consider using them for details such as the city and state associated with a university or a degree listing.

It’s advisable to refrain from underlining words or phrases in a resume or cover letter, as it introduces excessive formatting and contributes to a cluttered feel in the document.

Pairing Resume Fonts

A prevalent technique employed by visually-oriented resume creators is the use of font pairings. Optimal font pairs complement each other, coexist harmoniously, and avoid competing for the reader’s attention.

For those who opt for font pairing, it’s common to select two contrasting typefaces, such as pairing a standard script with a cursive script or combining sans-serif with serif. Typically, one typeface is used for the primary content, while the other is reserved for larger elements like the name and section titles.

It’s crucial to maintain consistency in the choice of fonts between your resume and cover letter.

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